01935 429609
Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society

Welcome to the SDFHS

How can we help you? We will help you to find documented facts about the lives of your former family members which will unlock doors to your own personal family story. Although we do specialise in Somerset and Dorset and have extensive records from our two counties, our experienced Research Volunteers have skills which can help you trace your family roots, regardless of where they might have originated.

SDFHS Family History Centre

Our Family History Centre in Yeovil reopened to visitors on Thursday 12 August. Initially we will only be open in the mornings (10.00am-1.00pm) Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Since the UK government is still advising caution, and we want all our volunteers and visitors to feel safe, there are some conditions for visiting the Centre. Please click on the button to find out more.

Online Talks

Online talks are being hosted by some of our local Groups, giving us the opportunity to engage with our members and the family history community worldwide.

Visit Our Shop

Are you looking for family history publications? Why not try looking in our on-line shop. We have a wide range of books and CDs relating to both Somerset and Dorset, as well as more general family-history and local-history publications.

Join us

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Can anyone who knows #Taunton area identify this mystery photo? Two distinctive semi-detached Victorian houses (villas?) taken 1870s/80s by W Morley of East St Taunton. There are some similar properties around St John's Rd but not a direct match ... See MoreSee Less
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Two online talks by Somerset ArchivesBooking is now open for two online Coffee Time Talks ☕️18 February 2022 - From Sorcery to Supercomputers: Discover the Treasures of the Met Office Archives18 March 2022 - Behind the Scenes: Conserving the Bath and Wells Probate Administrators’ Accounts10:30-11:30, Tickets £5For more details and to book, please visit our website: swheritage.org.uk/news_tags/coffee-time-talks/(Pictured: Probate Administrators' Accounts) ... See MoreSee Less
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The 1921 Census household schedules were released today after the end of the 100 year closure rule and digitisation. Last year we displayed posters around the villages with extracts from the 1911 census and statistics which showed that the population of The Charltons civil parish (then called Charlton Mackrell but including Charlton Adam) declined from 629 in 1911 to 559 on 19th June 1921. A search of the online index today has found 560 individuals living here in 1921 (295 female and 265 male) including one female without an indexed name. 386 of those people gave their birthplace as somewhere in Somerset. There were 19 children whose father or mother (or both) had died, including some as a result of WW1, and 26 widows but only 10 widowers (and no divorcees).The household schedules were completed in handwriting, not neatly printed, and often elaborate or scrawled so mis-transcriptions in the index are not unusual. We have already spotted a significant surname error - some of the large "Dyer" family (including those who lived at Cedar Lodge) have been indexed as “Wyer”. Also be aware of potential errors in the age and calculated year of birth if you are searching with those ... although the printed schedules completed by each household state that the census was for the night of Sunday 24th April 1921, in fact it was delayed until 19th June due to industrial unrest. In an attempt to obtain more accurate ages, 1921 was the first time people had been asked to state their age in years and months, but the delay meant that ages "should" have been given as of 19th June and not the date shown on the form. So it is likely there may have been some original errors, causing misleading birth years in the transcription and index.The 1921 Census of England and Wales is now available to search and (at a cost) view on the Findmypast website after three years of conservation and digitisation work on behalf of The National Archives and the Office for National Statistics. Unfortunately the cost of downloading all the household schedules for The Charltons is prohibitive at present, but we are working to create a full listing of the indexed names and other available information. Do let us know if you have made any interesting local discoveries! ... See MoreSee Less
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#1921census tips:* when viewing the image, click on "Extra Materials" and you will be able to see (no extra cost) the cover of the census form giving the address (you can also see this by clicking the > button), maps called ‘Plans of Division’ showing the geographical coverage of the registration district, and the cover of the census enumeration district book.* when you've searched, if you hover your cursor over the record image or record transcript buttons in the results, you will be given the names of some other people in the household* using the 'download record' button only downloads the page you're viewing (you 'll probably want to save the details & address pages) but you get a better quality image if you use the button than if you right click & save the image ... See MoreSee Less
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Merry Christmas everyone! Wishing you a wonderful festive season & lots of fascinating family history discoveries in 2022! ... See MoreSee Less
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